Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

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124 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A B Y M A R I B E T H M E L L I N C elebrities and surfers congregate in Orange County's beach cities along a coastline reminiscent of the French Riviera. Several of Southern California's most famous beaches with historic mis- sions, art colonies, scenic marinas and legendary surf breaks dot the OC's 42-mile-long coastline . From the jam-packed freeways, the county looks like a vast expanse of matching terracotta-tiled rooftops, mirrored office buildings and enormous malls. Behind the facade, the county is compact, yet amazingly diverse. Sure, it's got Anaheim's Disneyland, but that's just a blip on the OC map. Beyond the beaches, shopping options are legendary, with Irvine Spec- trum, South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island serving as magnets for tourists as well as locals. Master-planned communities sprawl through the inland areas where thousands of acres of citrus groves once filled the air with the scent of orange blossoms, and rugged canyons sheltered coyotes and hawks. Irvine, one of the largest communities, contains a University of California campus, the Orange County Great Park and several master- planned "villages" housing nearly 150,000 residents. Similar developments large and small, including some of the country's priciest enclaves, are sur- rounded by more established neighborhoods and cities. The OC contains distinctive communities and neighborhoods all hosting festivals, farmers markets and annual events. The county is also filled with cultural attractions and performing arts venues, such as the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the South Coast Repertory. SAHANI PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK . OPPOSITE: ORANGE COUNTY CVB; CHRISTIAN DE ARAUJO/SHUTTERSTOCK ORANGE COUNTY TOP CITIES Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Orange, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, San Clemente INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY John Wayne/Orange County Airport (SNA), located at the juncture of Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and Newport Beach near I-405 TOURISM WEBSITES POPULATION 3,010,000 ORANGE COUNTY Laid-back surf vibe meets high-fashion style

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